PM Modi slams critics of Centre’s $5-trillion economy goal

NEW DELHI : Amid harsh criticism of the Centre’s goal to achieve a $5-trillion economy within the next five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said those “casting doubts over the competency of Indians” are “professional pessimists”.

“It is important to know about the $5 trillion economy because some people were casting doubts over the competency of Indians, saying that achieving the target is very difficult,” Modi, who was speaking at the launch of the membership drive of the ruling BJP in Varanasi, said.

He slammed the critics, saying, “These people are professional pessimists.”

Referring to the provisions in the Union Budget, which was presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Modi said a “new India” was on the threshold of racing ahead.

“Yesterday on TV and today in newspapers, you must have heard and read about the goal of $5 trillion economy. It is very important for you all to understand what the $5 trillion economy means and how it is connected to every Indian citizen,” he said.

Elaborating further on the target set by his government, the Prime Minister said, “There is a saying in English: the ‘size of the cake matters’; meaning, the bigger the cake, bigger the slice the people will get. That is why we have a goal of a $5 trillion dollar economy.”

“In the budget, we gave direction to achieve our goal of $5 trillion economy and decisions related to it were announced. We will become a $5 trillion economy in the next five years, ” he said.

In his second visit to the constituency ever since his victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Modi launched the membership drive of his party, saying it will connect people from all walks of life within the BJP.

“From the soil of Kashi, I greet each dedicated worker of the party. Today, I got an opportunity to launch the BJP’s membership campaign from Kashi,” he said.

The launch of the membership drive coincided with the 118th birth anniversary of the party’s founder, Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

The prime minister was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP working president JP Nadda and the state unit chief of the saffron party, Mahendra Nath Pandey.